Posted By: Hanchuan Peng - May 20, 2016
Tool/Resource: Vaa3D and Vaa3D-Neuron
Vaa3D ( version 3.2 for Windows, Mac and Linux has just been released. The new release comes with 130+ plugins / tools for neuroinformatics, Big Data, neuroimaging, etc. It has the powerful built-in TeraFly engine for surfing terabytes of images without stopping, in 3D and on ordinary computers directly. Read a new Nature Methods paper about this technique [].

Vaa3D (in Chinese ‘挖三维’) is an Open Source, award-winning visualization and analysis software suite created mainly by Janelia Research Campus, HHMI and Allen Institute for Brain Science. The software performs 3D, 4D and 5D rendering and analysis of very large image data sets, especially those generated using various modern microscopy methods, and associated 3D surface objects.

Vaa3D has led to hundreds of high profile publications in Nature, Science, Cell, Neuron, IEEE Transactions, etc. It is used as platform software for several of the largest brain research initiatives in the world.

To use this software package, you agree with the Open Source MIT license of the Vaa3D and that you will cite the following papers in your work.

[1] Peng, H., Ruan, Z., Long, F., Simpson, J.H., and Myers, E.W. (2010) "V3D enables real-time 3D visualization and quantitative analysis of large-scale biological image data sets," Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp.348-353. (

[2] Peng, H., Bria, A., Zhou, Z., Iannello, G., and Long, F. (2014) "Extensible visualization and analysis for multidimensional images using Vaa3D," Nature Protocols, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 193-208. (

[3] Peng, H., et al. (2014) "Virtual finger boosts three-dimensional imaging and microsurgery as well as terabyte volume image visualization and analysis," Nature Communications, Vol. 5, No. 4342, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5342.

[4] Bria, A., et al. (2016) "TeraFly: real-time 3D visualization and 3D annotation of terabytes of multidimensional volumetric images," Nature Methods, Vol. 13, pp. 192-194, DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.3767.

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